An ethnography of hope and resistance
against accumulation by dispossession
in rural West Bengal

ROLL NO- 91/ANT/121023
R...
An ethnography of hope and resistance
against accumulation by dispossession
in rural West Bengal

(Report submitted in con...
ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS
I have the pleasure to express my sincere gratefulness, indebtedness and
heartfelt thanks to my most resp...
CONTENTS
Page No.
Acknowledgements

INTRODUCTION ............................................................................
Resistance to land alienation and primitive accumulation: forms and modalities... 57
Economic Liberalization in India .......
Area Map: ...................................................................................................................
OCL .........................................................................................................................
Table of Figures
Figure 1 OCL building ......................................................................................
INTRODUCTION
The Critical Framework of Theories, Discourses and
Methodology

6|Page
Methodology
Approach, Objectives and Strategy

My abhorrence of neoliberalism helps to explain my legitimate
anger when I ...
thousands of needy and suitable locals and outsiders. Our position was critically
affiliated to the dispossessed, the rema...
because the villagers had passed the time for coping with the loss, pain, insecurity
and hope. Moreover, the industrialisa...
Minister of West Bengal, to look for the consent of people and hegemonies the
subjective positions of people in and lookin...
vii.

the rise of new political subjects connecting the old and new settings of
politics in the area, and

viii.

critical...
different but at some points opposing. The aim of critical ethnography is not to represent the
participant’s world as a li...
prominent feature of critical ethnography is not to discover what is good or bad, right or
wrong in any absolute sense, bu...
sociological and reflective imagination, rather than merely presented the findings, so as to
create images and metaphors i...
understanding of the constructed participant’s constructed point of view (Plummer,
2001).Furthermore, Ricoeur (1971) maint...
levels of connectedness and relationships between sites and individuals that the interpretive
ethnographer seeks to enact,...
Critique and Reviews of Theories, Concepts and Discourses

17 | P a g e
On Industrialisation in West Bengal
Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee:

The Marxist, Vol. XXIII, 1, January to March, 2007

EXCERPTS...
Page3 & 4
We could produce 11.6 million MT of vegetables on 5.4 million hectares of land [gaining food security]. Paddy pr...
Page5 & 6

This includes, as in Purulia and Bankura, 4 per cent rain-fed land where agriculture depends on rainfall for ir...
Page 7 and 8

SEZ and
Industrialisation in
India

S

pecial Economic Zones
(SEZs) have, over the
past five years, become

...
A Special Economic Zone (SEZ) covers a broad range of more specific
zone types, like Free Trade Zones (FTZ), Export Proces...
The Theories
The present study of the villages of Salboni block in Paschim Medinipur district is about the
process of cont...
laureate W. Arthur Lewis in the mid-1950s and later modified, formalized, and extended by
John Fei and Gustav Ranis. The L...
and urban industries as people migrate from farms and small towns, and the decline in
family size and overall population g...
faster the rate of capital accumulation, the higher the growth rate of the modern sector and
the faster the rate of new jo...
Turning to Neoliberalism and Indian Practices of Development
In the absence of real practice of development by structural ...
of large dams in North India – heralded the coming of a new zeitgeist that brought an
increased awareness about environmen...
in Singur was thus symptomatic of the new forms of accumulation by dispossession
inherent in neoliberal forms of developme...
The word “liberal” took on a specifically political meaning with the establishment of
liberal parliamentary caucuses in Sw...
individuals, where its members have a justified cause for rebellion if the state seizes more
power than what has been orig...
Neoliberalism: A Conceptual History
The first book-length work we have been able to discover, employing the term
“neoliber...
our proposed definition is more to the point, and better able to function within the
framework of a more disinterested ana...
proponent of a totalitarian state (Mises 1962). Thus understood and defined, neoliberalism
becomes a loose set of ideas of...
capitalism and communism in their raw forms had failed, they argued. The only way ahead
was to construct the right blend o...
Britain, France, and Italy). The neoliberal project is to disembed capital from these
constraints.
Embedded liberalism del...
system of fixed exchange rates. US dollars had flooded the world and escaped US controls
by being deposited in European ba...
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  1. 1. An ethnography of hope and resistance against accumulation by dispossession in rural West Bengal ROLL NO- 91/ANT/121023 REGISTRATION NO- 142-1121-0067-09 EXAMINATION- M.SC. 2nd SEMESTER EXAMINATION 2013 IN ANTHROPOLOGY DEPT. OF ANTHROPOLOGY, UNIVERSITY OF CALCUTTA
  2. 2. An ethnography of hope and resistance against accumulation by dispossession in rural West Bengal (Report submitted in connection with M.SC. 2ND semester examination, 2013) Coarse no. - 9 Work done under the supervision of Dr. Arnab Das ROLL NO- 91/ANT/121007 REGISTRATION NO- 142-1121-0067-09 EXAMINATION- M.SC. 2nd SEMESTER EXAMINATION 2013 IN ANTHROPOLOGY DEPT. OF ANTHROPOLOGY, UNIVERSITY OF CALCUTTA
  3. 3. ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS I have the pleasure to express my sincere gratefulness, indebtedness and heartfelt thanks to my most respected teachers Dr. Arnab Das, Dr. Subrata Sankar Bagchi of Department of Anthropology, University Of Calcutta and Mr. Suman Nath of Department of Anthropology, Haldia Govt. College, under whose guidance this work has been prepared. Cooperation from all professors of our Department and the non-teaching staffs of our college are too remembered with gratitude. Last but not the least; warmest thanks are also due to my classmates for their co-operation in the field and to my parents for their active cooperation and assistance. Date Signature
  4. 4. CONTENTS Page No. Acknowledgements INTRODUCTION ................................................................................................................................. 6 The Critical Framework of Theories, Discourses and Methodology ............................................ 6 Objectives and Techniques ......................................................................................................... 9 Ethnographic Strategy ............................................................................................................... 11 Critique and Reviews of Theories, Concepts and Discourses ....................................................... 17 On Industrialisation in West Bengal ....................................................................................... 18 SEZ and Industrialisation in India........................................................................................... 21 The main objectives of the SEZ Act in India are: ................................................................................... 22 The Problem .......................................................................................................................................... 22 The Theories .................................................................................................................................. 23 Basic Model of Structural Transformation ............................................................................... 23 Present Failure of Structural Change Development Theory .................................................... 25 Turning to Neoliberalism and Indian Practices of Development ............................................. 27 Introducing Neoliberalism ........................................................................................................ 29 Why the Neoliberal Turn? ........................................................................................................ 34 Introducing “Double Movement” of Karl Polanyi in Neoliberal Era ...................................... 38 Accumulation by Dispossession ............................................................................................... 43 Underconsumption or Overaccumulation?.................................................................................... 44 Land Seizure and Land Denial ......................................................................................... 53 Movements against Accumulation by Dispossession ............................................................... 54 1|Page
  5. 5. Resistance to land alienation and primitive accumulation: forms and modalities... 57 Economic Liberalization in India .............................................................................................. 59 The Distributive Effects of Liberalization, Privatization, Globalization .................... 66 The Emerging Oligopolies: India ..................................................................................... 68 INNOVATIVE ....................................................................................................................... 75 GLOBAL ................................................................................................................................. 75 RESPONSIBLE ...................................................................................................................... 76 The Construction of Consent .................................................................................................... 77 Consent to Neoliberal Economy: India and West Bengal ......................................................... 80 The Problem of Land Acquisition in India................................................................................ 83 Successful land acquisition model ................................................................................... 88 Chapter Two The Villages ............................................................. 90 Villages around Jindal Steel Works ............................................................................................. 91 The setting ................................................................................................................................... 91 Area Map: .................................................................................................................................... 92 Institutions .................................................................................................................................. 92 Description of villages ............................................................................................................... 93 I PATHORCHATI .................................................................................................................. 93 II JAMBEDIA .......................................................................................................................... 95 III KULFENI ............................................................................................................................ 95 IV ASNASULI ....................................................................................................................... 100 V SRIKRISNAPUR ............................................................................................................... 102 VI NATUNDIH .................................................................................................................... 102 VII RAMRAIDIH.................................................................................................................. 103 VIII BASKOPNA .................................................................................................................. 103 Villages around Orissa Cement Limited .................................................................................. 105 2|Page
  6. 6. Area Map: ................................................................................................................................... 106 The setting ................................................................................................................................. 106 I KULIPARA ......................................................................................................................... 107 II BEUNCHA ........................................................................................................................ 109 III KAMARMURI ................................................................................................................. 110 IV KULAPACHURIYA ....................................................................................................... 111 V BEUNCHA ........................................................................................................................ 111 Chapter Three The dispossession ................................................. 114 Contact, Deal and Agents: JSW .................................................................................................. 115 Contact, Deal and Agents: OCL ................................................................................................. 122 Techniques of Power and Persuasion: JSW .............................................................................. 124 Techniques of Power and persuasion: OCL ............................................................................. 127 Consent and submission: Rumours, Make belief, Expectations and Pressures—JSW ....... 128 Consent and submission: Rumours, Make belief, Expectations and Pressures—OCL ...... 132 Experiences of Land seizure and Land Denial: Resistance and Pain-JSW ........................... 133 Dispossession and Loss: JSW ..................................................................................................... 140 Dispossession and Loss: OCL .................................................................................................... 145 The Establishment: JSW .............................................................................................................. 146 The Establishment: OCL ............................................................................................................. 147 Chapter four Experiences Extra-local Political Opponents and Local Maoists/Jangal Bahini and Shanti Rakkha Committee/Harmads ................. 148 Trauma and Memories of Fear and Humiliation: Maoists and Harmads ........................... 149 JSW ............................................................................................................................................. 149 OCL ............................................................................................................................................ 171 Local Governance (Panchayat and Political Parties) ............................................................... 174 JSW ............................................................................................................................................. 174 3|Page
  7. 7. OCL ............................................................................................................................................ 179 Chapter Five ........................................................................................................................................ 182 Local Consequences and Assessments of the Dispossessed ...................................................... 182 Promises of Power and State of Delay ...................................................................................... 183 JSW ............................................................................................................................................. 183 OCL ............................................................................................................................................ 188 Perception of Environment ......................................................................................................... 189 JSW ............................................................................................................................................. 189 OCL ............................................................................................................................................ 190 Chapter Six ......................................................................................................................................... 191 The Open Reportier of Experience ................................................................................................ 191 Introduction .............................................................................................................................. 193 Elementary... ............................................................................................................................. 193 Way to Ocl ................................................................................................................................. 195 Political situation ...................................................................................................................... 197 Their plight................................................................................................................................ 198 Way to JSW ............................................................................................................................... 198 Their Plight................................................................................................................................ 200 Conclusion: ............................................................................................................................... 200 Chapter Seven ..................................................................................................................................... 202 The Theory Contributed and Conclusion ..................................................................................... 202 References............................................................................................................................................ 209 4|Page
  8. 8. Table of Figures Figure 1 OCL building ............................................................................................................ 73 Figure 2 Map showing the Acquired area by JSW project and how the villages are scattered around the perifery of the project. and also in extreem left National highway can be seen which is their connection with outside world. ......................................................................... 92 Figure 3 Show the lands and how dry it is due to absence of needed water to irregate it. ...... 94 Figure 4 a peasent cultivating land in front of JSW project. Previously who had land inside the JSW. ................................................................................................................................... 95 Figure 5 Board of OCL in fornt of gate, with it’s its full address.......................................... 105 Figure 6 the map of the village beauch drawn with the help of a villager. And in the right side showing the OCL. .................................................................................................................. 106 Figure 7 Agricultural land in Gobru where potatto and paddy was being cultivated. ......... 107 Figure 8 showing the school that is present in the villager which now have classes upto standerd 8............................................................................................................................... 109 Figure 9 non metaled road toward pathorchati, road was surrounded by forest and the trees seen the pictures are eucalyptus tree. .................................................................................... 135 Figure 10 villagers demolised the wall so that they could enter the premises of jsw where they left their cattel to feed and they also bring fuel wood from there. .......................................... 137 Figure 11 Places where villagers wasent been able to demolish the wall they have put ladder in the wall to cross the gaurd wall. ........................................................................................ 138 5|Page
  9. 9. INTRODUCTION The Critical Framework of Theories, Discourses and Methodology 6|Page
  10. 10. Methodology Approach, Objectives and Strategy My abhorrence of neoliberalism helps to explain my legitimate anger when I speak of the injustices to which the ragpickers among humanity are condemned. It also explains my total lack of interest in any pretension of impartiality, I am not impartial, or objective . . . [this] does not prevent me from holding always a rigorously ethical position. (Freire, 1998, p. 22) While it was our mission to get underneath the surface of the neoliberal efforts of new industrialisation in India, and here in West Bengal, through corporate capitals, as anthropologists we selected to go native not for both the corporate capital and those dispossessed by the capital, but seeing things as aligned to the dispossessed, voiceless, poor and powerless farmers, engaged in the fray and compromise with the power centres at will of running industries and giving employments to the 7|Page
  11. 11. thousands of needy and suitable locals and outsiders. Our position was critically affiliated to the dispossessed, the remaining farmers, their voices, stories, narratives of emotion and reasoning and so on, thus making a road not stopping us to be at one with the villagers, but to turning toward the interpretive reflexivity of our involvement in the issues already built up with some earlier theories on similar issues done by ethnographers and other scholars majorly on the theories and cases of “accumulation by dispossession” and Polanyi’s “double movement” (like Adnan, 2013; Amanor-Wilks, 2006; Bo Nielsen, 2010; Dunn, 2007; Ganguly-Scrase and Scrase, 2005; Kakani, Raghu Ram, & Tigga 2010; Kendall, 2003; Kumar, 2011; Levien, 2006; 2011, 2012; Levien and Paret, 2012; Muukkonen, 2006; Sarcar, 2007; Shani, 2004; Springer, 2011; Stewart, 2010; Thorsen, 2009) Thus some kind of objectivity to envisage the reality of the farmers around two industrial efforts of OCL and JSW was pre-destined. But we kept it clear that theories should not master us, but theories are to master over reality for knowledge making. Our ethnography is neither solely critical nor solely interpretive, but their mixes help us taking side of the dispossessed, yet the picture beyond and beneath interpretive construction is sent not out of sight. What we obtained from the villagers by our cautious and sensitive exploration of facts of hope, trust-making and breaking of trust, fear, trauma, helplessness, insecurity, sense of loss, confusion and mistrust to the outsiders, like us are kept alive to give the alternative picture of land grabbing in Salboni, not as win-win case, but as a not-so-successful suppression of the dispossessed. The hegemonic power brokers, like the government, political parties and their agents were produced by the discourse of modernisation and development, which has played a one-eyed motivation, persuasion and pressure to the villagers to welcome industries, but failed to erase the traces of resistance against it, similar to all the cases of dispossession by neoliberal force across the world. It was post-dispossession period that the fieldwork took place. Thus, it was all about memory and experience of effects of the past time, which we could get from the people of that area. It rendered the whole issue of dispossession more tangible 8|Page
  12. 12. because the villagers had passed the time for coping with the loss, pain, insecurity and hope. Moreover, the industrialisation was temporally associated with the shift of power from one political party (CPIM) to the other (TMC) through a long session of bitter political rivalry locally centred on the state-political resistance to Maoist penetration implicitly against the industrialisation and explicitly against CPI(M) with the implicit support of TMC in that area. The issue of dispossession, thus, can neither be untangled from such political conflict. For all the reasons the direction of our study acquired a multifaceted reality of exploration and investigation. Interviews could be used in a copybook situation, rather more sensible and situational application of varied types of interviews and observation had to accompany every step of fieldwork which spanned the short duration of twelve (12) days of February and March in Salboni block of Paschim Medinipore district of West Bengal. The team was composed of twenty four students and two supervisors. Objectives and Techniques Finally the objectives and associated techniques of the study turned out to be (a) To prepare ourselves with the necessary sensitivity of the three major theories in order to relate and obtain the narratives and other data from the villagers by interviews and observation. The three theories are i. Development by Structural transformation from agriculture to industry pioneered by Arthur Lewis’ ii. Double movement theory of Karl Polanyi’ and iii. Critique of Accumulation by dispossession of neoliberal economy proposed by David Harvey; (b) It was necessary to get the critical analysis of discourse of Industrialisation in West Bengal presented by Buddhdeb Bhattacharyya, the erstwhile Chief 9|Page
  13. 13. Minister of West Bengal, to look for the consent of people and hegemonies the subjective positions of people in and looking for power; (c) The selection of an area of West Bengal, which has gone through the operation of such industrialisation finally culminated in the selection of Salbani of Paschim Medinipore district of West Bengal as suitable for a shortterm fieldwork to obtain data for examining the compatibility of the theories; (d) The ethnographic plan to cover the all the villages around the two industries for collection, verification and intensification of the data with the effort of twenty four students, who are already trained to participate in fieldwork in rural areas, supervised by two teachers; (e) Except ethnography (intuiting a mix of critical and interpretive ones), the methodological shape was not pre-fixed, but let to emerge from the actual contact, rapport and suitability of situations of the villagers. Therefore the sample of research participants and informants was of purposive, snowball and availability types; (f) While the students beginning to collect data from the villages adjoining the National Highway 6, the supervisor advanced to link all the near and far villages and the available respondents ahead of the students, thus facilitating the work onwards to entangle all the villages in the period of twelve days; and (g) Finally the ethnography is an articulation of i. the composition and location of the villages, ii. the issues of experiencing dispossession of land and dis-embedding life in the habitus of the villagers, iii. the aspects of struggle/resistance and coping against the events, iv. the experience and perception of the political agents of the localities, v. the rise of new subjective positions of the villagers, vi. the rise of the techniques of control by the industries, 10 | P a g e
  14. 14. vii. the rise of new political subjects connecting the old and new settings of politics in the area, and viii. critical, interpretive, reflexively objective evaluation of the theories and experiences of the fieldworkers. Ethnographic Strategy The era of critical ethnography commenced in the late 1950s and early 1960s and was initiated by the dominant social and cultural reality of the time. This is the time of the demise of colonialism and of the inward turn of classical ethnography to explore marginalised groups. This shift emanated from the realisation that researching marginalised, oppressed and deviant groups using classical ethnography was, ironically, not the solution, but rather the problem to the social status of these groups. The marginalisation, oppression and deviation of such groups primarily resulted from the fact that they either had no voice or words of their own to comprehensibly express themselves or that the looking glass under which the researcher gazed at these groups was distorted by the male, white, middle class lens (Denzin, 1997; Faubion, 2001; Skeggs, 2001; Gubrium and Holstein, 2002; Lecompte, 2002). Thus, classical ethnography for these researchers seemed to miss its core aim of genuine and true representation and instead represented the dominant images and spoke the words of the prevalent culture. Therefore, not only was there a lack of understanding of these groups, but most importantly the theories developed via classical ethnography perpetuated their marginalised and oppressed status (Faubion, 2001; Skeggs, 2001; Prior, 2007). This is the time that academia in both America and Europe opens its doors to ‘nonmainstream’ researchers that were not ‘of white European-American male’ orientation (Lecompte, 2002: 285) and who were eager to explore via ethnography the experiences and origins of their own misrepresentation. Furthermore, these views were blended initially with Marxist, Neo-Marxist and Weberian theories and consequently with feminist, critical theory, race and political theory (Lecompte, 2002) to develop a genre termed as critical ethnography, which, as classical ethnography, acquired momentum and is still in use today, but is distinguished from classical ethnography by a set of features and aims that are not only 11 | P a g e
  15. 15. different but at some points opposing. The aim of critical ethnography is not to represent the participant’s world as a linear, definitive and conclusive reality, but to disclose the underlying synergies that actually create that reality. It is an analytic procedure, rather than a descriptive one, where the culture is conceived as a historically bounded formation (Faubion, 2001) and people’s views are anticipated to emerge not from ‘nowhere’, but are always views from ‘somewhere’ in particular (Spencer, 2001). The ethnographer’s role is to untangle the historical contingencies and reveal the cultural substratum or habitus that artfully, albeit invisibly, influences and even creates specific world views and cultures (Pollner and Emerson, 2001; Lecompte, 2002). Thus, critical ethnography veers from the epistemology of a value-free and objective social reality to an epistemology aiming at unpacking, interpreting and eventually giving voice to the muted, exploited and powerless groups of people (Gordon et al., 2001; Macdonald, 2001; Skeggs, 2001; Smith, 2001). The aim of critical ethnography is to uncover the patronising, patriarchal, gendered, racial, dominant, hegemonic and authorial voices and languages that are incorporated within the culture and determine the positionality of individuals in society by shaping both thought and reality (Rolfe, 1999; Gordon et al., 2001; Smith, 2001). Hence, the mantra of ‘telling it as it is’ that summed up the epistemology of classical ethnography is now replaced by the mantra of ‘giving voice’. Whilst critical ethnography is sceptical of the objective and value-free research that can capture the real, nonetheless it does not denounce the fact that such a reality may actually exist. In a sense, critical ethnography accepts that there probably is some ‘true’ and ‘real’ reality, it is just that this reality is blurred, distorted and manipulated and therefore we do not have direct access to it. However, in a quite unyieldingly fashion, the representation of this reality is the secondary feature of critical ethnography and what constitutes the foreground of such a research is the dialogue developed between researcher and participant, the emancipation and empowerment of both, and the eventual transformation of the lived reality (Gordon et al., 2001; Lecompte, 2002). Thus the scope of such research is not to discover what is true or real, but to discover what or who is blurring, distorting and manipulating reality. Therefore critical ethnography in a last twist becomes more of a political adventure of change, where knowledge, politics, ideology, discourse and action all merge. The 12 | P a g e
  16. 16. prominent feature of critical ethnography is not to discover what is good or bad, right or wrong in any absolute sense, but what is useful and practical and how, through the process of praxis, daily reality can be transformed (Denzin, 1997; Smith and Deemer, 2000; Spencer, 2001). This is accomplished via a dialectic spiral of empathic and egalitarian interaction, which goes beyond direct participant observations so as to include methods of data collection, such as interviewing and analysis of historical documentation (Heyl, 2001; Rock, 2001). One of the limitations of critical ethnography is the over-emphasis on marginalised groups and potentially missing out on important data as to how others that are not conceived as marginalised view these groups of people (Thupayagale-Tshweneagae, 2008). Inherent in all critical ethnographic studies is the assumption that contemporary societies have systematic inequalities complexly maintained and reproduced by cultures that constrain human existence (Thomas, 1993; Cook, 2005). Hence, critical ethnography aims to go beneath the surface world of accepted appearances so as to reveal the darker, oppressive side of social life (Thomas, 1993; Carspecken, 2001). Furthermore, the critical ethnographic topic is something the researcher is passionate about and is able to relate to personally, as a kind of a slice of the researcher’s social existence (Thomas, 1993). This assumes that the researcher is not a stranger or naive to the research topic, but on the contrary is subjectively related to the topic and presents this subjectivity using reflection (Thomas, 1993; Hardcastle et al., 2006). In addition, the participants are purposefully selected for what they know, rather than what they randomly observed to capture the mundane (Hardcastle et al., 2006; Green and Thorogood, 2009). Hence, whilst observations are not excluded, nonetheless interviews are considered as the hallmark of critical ethnography since they open realms of meaning that permeate beyond rote information or finding the ‘truth’ to analysing and synthesising ideas so as to discover specific systems relationships and reveal hidden meanings (Carspecken, 2001; Cook, 2005). The interviews take a dialogical and reflective form, and the research questions are more confrontational and prodding than classical ethnography in order to dig below surface appearance and overcome the parroting of cultural or disciplinary rhetoric so as to expose personal, cultural and political aspects of decision making (Thomas, 1993; Hardcastle et al., 2006). Eventually, data are interpreted by invoking 13 | P a g e
  17. 17. sociological and reflective imagination, rather than merely presented the findings, so as to create images and metaphors in order to re-frame the familiar in a new social light (Thomas, 1993). Finally, critical ethnography concludes by challenging the status quo, providing some form of change for existing social structures, and adding an explicit political purpose and social activism element to the research project so as to empower people and transform their political and social status (Cook, 2005; Hardcastle et al., 2006). The interpretive ethnographic genre takes a post-modernist and post-structuralist turn, maintaining that truth cannot merely be out there, because it cannot exist independently of the human mind and that, simply because sentences cannot exist or be out there on their own, sentences are always the product of humans. This is what Rorty (1989: 5) argued in a different context when he purported that ‘the world is out there, but descriptions of the world are not’. For interpretive ethnographers, the main argument is that the text cannot ever impeccably represent in any formal, linear and absolute order the researched context (Geertz, 1973; Denzin, 1997). For interpretive ethnography language is not a mere medium between the self and the world that can accurately represent either the world or the self, rather language is a construct of humans that is used as a tool to construct, create and fabricate both the self and the world (Rorty, 1989; Plummer, 2001). The aim of interpretive ethnography is not to produce a great amount of undigested information, but to provide accounts that possess depth, detail, emotionality, nuance and imagination of the participants’ worlds. The eventual aim of interpretive ethnography is to provide clarifying, inventive and creative tellings of old stories in new ways, once these old stories no longer speak to us (Denzin, 2000; Spencer, 2001). In essence interpretive ethnography is a set of stories that are crafted by the researcher and shaped by literary convention (Daly, 1997). These ethnographic stories frame the researcher’s experiences and interpretations, and are used as a tool by the researcher to understand others in relation to the researcher, hence excavating the meaningfulness of sites (Daly, 1993; Bryant, 2003). For interpretive ethnography there is no problem to be solved, but rather a mystery to be personally and culturally engaged. The interpretive ethnographic study produces stories that join together at least two disparate storylines – the story of the self who has the stake, asks the questions and does the interpreting, and the stories of others who help us find or create meanings (Goodall, 2003). Therefore, ethnographic stories become a constructed 14 | P a g e
  18. 18. understanding of the constructed participant’s constructed point of view (Plummer, 2001).Furthermore, Ricoeur (1971) maintains that the loss of context seems to be an inevitable result of the process of textualisation and Denzin (1999) suggests that the ideal correspondence of context and text is not only a futile impossibility, but at the same time a debilitating limitation that impedes more creative, evocative and imaginative ways of telling peoples’ tales and making sense of their world. Thus interpretive ethnography blurs the boundaries between the factual and fictional, where real research and real lives are written in fictional form with the intention not to explain reality and the world, but to evoke it, not to represent it but to perform it (Denzin, 1997; Plummer, 2001). What the interpretive ethnographer can only do is to produce works that speak clearly and powerfully of the immediacy and intensity about the researched worlds (Denzin, 2000; Cortazzi, 2001; Emerson et al., 2001). The process of data collection in interpretive ethnography begins with a personal moment, a narrative or a confession of the researcher (Bryant, 2006). This brings the author (researcher) firmly into the text and the text becomes personalised signal that the researcher is now engaged in a reflexive project (Plummer, 2001; Bryant, 2006). It is asserted that researchers cannot write interpretive ethnographies without informants, but more importantly, researchers could not write interpretive ethnographic texts without themselves. Hence, the two crucial elements of interpretive ethnography are, firstly, the inclusion of the researcher’s reflective and reflexive accounts in the interpretive ethnographic text, and secondly the omniscient third person writing of research is abandoned in favour of first person writing with the ‘I’ creeping into the researcher’s ethnographic text (Daly, 1997; Plummer, 2001; Goodall, 2003). Data collection in interpretive ethnography is multi-sited and multi-level with the researcher focusing on specific moments of experience in order to extrapolate meaning, for example on a rare moment or moments of conflict or struggle (Bryant, 2006; Wing- Chung, 2008). This approach suggests that data collection must look beyond the single context or geographical area to which the community belongs. Data collection in interpretive ethnography diffuses to multiple contexts where social and cultural activities, such as relationships, discourses and power relations, produce themselves, and as such they are pertinent not to one site, but usually overlap with other sites. In addition, there are different 15 | P a g e
  19. 19. levels of connectedness and relationships between sites and individuals that the interpretive ethnographer seeks to enact, understand and interpret (Wing-Chung, 2008). Thus, data collection is selective, cross-sectional, and diverse. The end result of such a project is a multi-vocal composite assemblage of a compelling and well-plotted story, evoking, provoking and providing imaginative, creative, insightful and artful understandings of processes and performances by criticising how things are and imagining how things can be (Denzin, 2000; Faubion, 2001; Plummer, 2001). The interpretive ethnographic text rejects linguistic norms or ideals and experiments with scholarly methods and forms of expression (King, 1999; Goodall, 2003). The interpretive ethnographic text is typified as a pastiche or montage, which includes successive layering of seemingly unrelated images that the researcher manages to cohere in some fashion. In the data analysis section the researcher juxtaposes sites and relationships, comparing emergent issues or objects of study that were not known before hand, and contributes in constructing an account of different, complexly connected real-world sites of investigation (Wing-Chung, 2008). The researcher in the analysis process traverses back-and-forth between the everyday world of the actor and the world of the observer, acquiring the task of the translator in order to construct and produce an echo of the original, but not the originality of the original (WingChung, 2008). In other words, the analysis inevitably is a textual construct containing the authorial authority of the researcher. In our study we took the side of the dispossessed villages, low in position to wield power over their conditions of livelihood contrary to the power brokers like the corporate, government and the political parties. Thus it is the explicit critical ethnographic stand that sutures interpretively the cross-sectional data of the villagers over time and the villages and varied sections of them. The writing goes on how Bourdieu and Wacquant (1992) advocate an epistemologically reflexive sociology and ethnography grounded in everyday cultural practices. We work back and forth between field experience and theory, cultivating a theoretical reflexivity that produces a detached, objective, authoritative account of the world being studied (Foley, 2002, p. 476). 16 | P a g e
  20. 20. Critique and Reviews of Theories, Concepts and Discourses 17 | P a g e
  21. 21. On Industrialisation in West Bengal Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee: The Marxist, Vol. XXIII, 1, January to March, 2007 EXCERPTS and CRITIQUE “I would like to discuss our overall outlook on the development of West Bengal’s economy after the formation of the Left Front Government on the issues of agriculture, industry and services. Some differences have been expressed regarding our purpose and objectives. It is generally acknowledged that we have no ‘model’ [but even the construction is a model. Later it can also be shown that how the whole construct of industrialisation is based on classical modernisation theory] in front of us to emulate and follow. It will indeed be a mistake to follow a specific model [It does not clarify why. Is it indicating the uniqueness of West Bengal as non-comparable to application of any model a priori] . We have closely observed and seen the changes in and the development of the Chinese economy and the Vietnamese economy. We are trying to ascertain facts there. In Latin America, a kind of new leftism has appeared and changes have occurred. We have gone through an interesting book called Dispatches from Latin America. We have gathered from the book the thoughts and ideas of the Brazilian president Lula, of the Venezuelan head of state Chavez, and of the Chilean Socialist Party. We are trying to understand and realise the purport of the changes taking place [There is no concern over the development models of other developing countries]. However, the fact is that we have to determine our own path, taking into account the reality of the situation in India and the constraints of the Left forces in the state within the present framework [Absence of any comparable situation in the rest of the world] . We have to offer a workable alternative. ..... With regard to the agricultural situation, we must look back to the 1960s when a strong peasant movement started. During the two short-lived United Front Governments of 1967 (9 months) and 1969 (13 months) the movement got accentuated. That movement saw economic and political changes taking place in rural West Bengal in a remarkable way. The zamindari system received a severe blow [the capitalist turn]. Land was transferred to the kisans through a struggle for possession. Politically, the influence of the Congress based on the zamindari system was curbed, resulting in change in the political correlation in favour of the Left. ...... After the installation of the Left Front Government in 1977 the land movement gathered further momentum and the transfer of land from the zamindars to the poor and marginal farmers was given administrative recognition. This was done through the granting of ‘patta’ rights to the kisans in possession of what was previously zamindari land parcels. The Left Front Government has distributed ‘patta’ rights for 1.3 million acres of land—the bulk of the agricultural land, in fact, of this state. 83% of the agricultural land is in the possession of the poor and marginal kisans [maximum utilisation and engagement agricultural labour power]. We have won several court cases relating to land. Recently we have got possession of 30,000 acres of land after winning court cases. 800 acres of land have been distributed at Khejuri in Midnapore East amongst 1200 poor farmers. The process of distribution of ‘patta’ rights has been accompanied by ‘Operation Barga’ (recognition of the right of sharecroppers) [embedding of intensive agriculture for food security and embedding of state] —something that is new and unique, a process that has received high praise from those who are engaged in research in agrarian relations and matters related to agriculture. It is important to recall here that without the surge of kisan struggles, the distribution of barga rights would not have been possible...... A part of the process of redistributive land reforms, the recording of barga rights has covered 1.5 million in number. Meanwhile, with the three-tier Panchayati system in place, the poor of the rural sector started to become assertive. It is noteworthy that in our state both the bulk of the agricultural land and the majority of the panchayats are in the hands of the rural poor. This is the consequence of the process of land reforms. .... ......[indicating a deeply entrenched emotional attachment of the peasants with their own land has been created over the three decades in West Bengal and the party in power actually acted as a facilitator for that process]. A direct result of the land reforms programme is the increase in agricultural production. Against the disastrous all-India agricultural growth rate of less than 2 per cent, West Bengal has been able maintain a sustainable growth rate of 4 per cent for more than last ten years. With massive aman and boro paddy production this year, the food grain production itself will exceed 15 million metric tones (MT). We have been self-sufficient in the production of paddy for the last three years. There have been difficulties in crop diversification. Besides paddy production, we are trying to concentrate on pulses and oil seeds—but not with notable success. We were able to procure 1.7 million MT of paddy last year. This year the target is 2.1 lakh MT. Excerpts and Critiques of theproducing the of Industrialisation in West Bengal since last year he ..... We have also been successful in discourse highest quantity of vegetables in the country 18 | P a g e (despite the paucity of land). Contd..
  22. 22. Page3 & 4 We could produce 11.6 million MT of vegetables on 5.4 million hectares of land [gaining food security]. Paddy production this year will exceed 11.6 million MT. We also hold the top position in the production of fish. Our fish production is 1.4 million MT. ...... Our success is reflected in the increased purchasing power of the kisans in the villages [more than subsistence economy, but not industrialised]. Our kisans possess the highest purchasing power of industrial goods in the whole of the country today in the retail sector, be it cement, radio, cycle, motorcycle, or apparel. No other state has 8 per cent growth rate. Only Punjab and Haryana are slightly ahead of us in terms of productivity. ....... A few negative tendencies were mentioned in the primary report that we received on the eve of the Assembly elections last year. The fragmentation of land in the wake of the land reforms among the successors of the original owners have contributed to the reduction of the produce [producing surplus labour in traditional sector]. This fragmentation of land is a major problem. Owing to the country’s economic policies, the prices of all inputs such as irrigation, water, seeds, pesticide, and fertiliser have increased manifold [traditional sector becoming counter-productive]. It is becoming difficult for farmers to get minimum procurement prices for their products. The question of remunerative prices does not arise. With expenditure rising high, the cost of agricultural production has gone up. There are other specific problems. Because of lack of viable marketing mechanism, many vegetables produced are left to rot in the fields—tomatoes in Coochbehar or cabbage in Murshidabad, for example. Of the total production of 11.6 million MT, 10-15 per cent is spoilt in the field because we do not have adequate means of preservation [problem of industrialisation of agriculture]. Another problem is value addition. Currently, we can fix added value for 3 percent of the produce only. Another problem concerns the society and the mind-set. The members of a kisan family till the land through generations. The first generation, despite having received education, may yet be willing to accompany the father to the field. The second generation does not. They are not willing to go back to the fields after passing out from schools and colleges. We must ponder whether this is a progressive or a regressive frame of mind. We must preserve the success of the agricultural production and ensure our food security. Any deviation will harm us [following Lewis’s emphasis on both the traditional and modern sector]. Then if the success in vegetable production can be conserved through a marketing mechanism and value is added to the produce, the scope for employment in the food processing industry will increase. A few important facts need to be mentioned at this point. The greatest amount of investment in the state is in the iron and steel sector. The next in line are chemicals, petrochemicals, and food processing. Among the big companies, Frito-lay, Dabur in North Bengal is functioning. Dabur went for processing mangoes and pineapple. Later, they are going to undertake processing of tomatoes. In the food processing industry, ....... . We do believe that if we try to stay in place and enjoy the success we have achieved we will stagnate and drift backwards. What then is the alternative? We have to note certain facts before dealing with the issue of industrialisation. In the economy of West Bengal, the share of agriculture is 26 per cent, industry 24 per cent, and services 50 per cent [central logic of structural transformation from traditional to modern sector and indicator of market being partially embedded]. This is better than the situation in other states. The service sector includes education, health, entertainment, hotel, tourism, telecom and software, call centers, etc. The trend of the service sector occupying a 50 per cent share of the economy is in keeping with that in the rest of the world. Look at the relative figures of the agricultural sector and the industrial sector. It is not correct to hold that this is the end of the road and the end of history. We must bring about changes gradually, and I use the word with deliberation. We must maintain food security but increase the share of the industrial sector, gradually reducing that of agriculture [central logic of structural transformation from traditional to modern sector].. This is the general trend of the economy. Marxists hold that development is from agriculture to industry. We reiterate that we do not have a model to follow. ....... However, the transition from agriculture to industry is an inevitable phenomenon both in capitalism and in socialism. A few facts can be cited to bolster this line of argument. 65 per cent of the population of this state is involved with economic activities. They are involved with agriculture and allied activities like animal resources and fisheries [labour surplus, but market logic is still not embedded for this 65%]. Is this a picture depicting high standards? We cannot agree with the postulate that agriculture is the last and final stage of development and that we have to stay at the place that we have reached. 63 per cent of land in this state is agricultural. [central logic of structural transformation from traditional to modern sector] 19 | P a g e Contd..
  23. 23. Page5 & 6 This includes, as in Purulia and Bankura, 4 per cent rain-fed land where agriculture depends on rainfall for irrigation. Fallow land amounts to just 1 per cent. The all-India figure here is 17 per cent. We have started to experiment in fallow land to grow plants and a variety of fruits. 13 per cent of land is under forest cover, which we are trying to increase further to improve the environment, keeping in view the issue of global warming. Thus, we are left with 23 per cent of land that is urban and industrial. The opposition asks us not to go beyond that 23 per cent and stay in place with 126 municipalities and corporations—and with no more urbanisation and industrialisation. This is a position, which is not acceptable [core logic of development through the transition from rural to urban]. Under capitalism, in India, the expropriation of the land of the peasantry is taking place in a brutal manner. In our drive for industrialisation in West Bengal, we will not proceed this way. We are committed to protect the interests of the farmers. If land needs to be taken, it will be done by providing those owning and dependent on land a fair deal, without coercion [not detailed the fair deal and the way to consensus with the farmers]. We have ascertained facts through a land survey, and I have kept the Left Front informed. We have received detailed report of vested land, and nonagricultural land district-wise, mouza-wise and block-wise. ..... We can tell investors and entrepreneurs about the locational alternatives that are there and they can choose. In a market economy, we can hardly ignore their priorities [silent about the negotiation and control over the market]. The priorities have a practical basis. Iron and steel industries cannot be set up away from coalmines. IT industries require airport facilities. ..... Now I would like to concentrate my discussion on some specific industries. The State Government’s industrial policy was declared by former Chief Minister Jyoti Basu in 1994 [almost at par with the time of Indian liberalisation policy of 1991]. During visits abroad, the attempt was made to convince investors about the investment-friendly role of our Government. It was stressed that investment would be made on the basis of mutually advantageous terms. They would earn profits and at the same time create employment opportunities [privatisation of land, cheap labour and other dictates of liberal market is not critically mentioned] . They would come here for the purposes of capitalist development. The opposition accuses us of having agreed to capitalist development. Is it possible to talk of socialist development in one state of our country? What we can do at the most in this structure is to bring in some alternative Left policies. This comprises land reforms, protecting public sector, some initiatives in education and health, and so on [state protection and intervention]. The Party Congress and the Central Committee have said that this means there is no need for foreign investment where we have the technology. We are not to allow FDI in retail trade. ..... IBM, Cognizant, and GE Capital have evinced interest in investing in the IT sector and we need their units. We will await the final denouement of the software debate. We must do something about our young men and women who are computerliterate and know English [Direct incorporation of neoliberal policy of industrialisation]. Mitsubishi Chemicals invested Rs. 1.7 billion at Haldia, and they are willing to open a second unit there—we really cannot refuse them. .... Jindals have chosen to set up a Rs. 35.5 billion steel plant at Salboni in Midnapore West . The message that we would like to send to entrepreneurs abroad is that we need private capital. The Party Programme has been changed. Earlier it talked about state takeover of all monopoly and foreign capital. We do not really hold that position now. The last Party Congress resolved that there would be no FDI in the retail trade. ..... The opposition is of the view (and a few Left Front partners) that the foreign capitalists are rushing in on their own to exploit us. The actual picture is different. There is tough competition all around. We cannot discourage investment. Had there been an alternative to the present form of investment we would have opted for it. The idea is that we do need private capital, with limits set, and not everywhere [The exposure to neoliberal market is proposed with caution, but not mentioning the nature of caution and the role of the state]. ...... The young men and women of West Bengal are also at the forefront of IT. We have 68,000 primary schools, 16,000 secondary schools, 450 colleges, 68 engineering colleges and 18 universities. Agriculture and villages are important but they alone cannot comprise the Left alternative for the torch-bearers of the 21st century. We cannot deny the viability of IT and bio-technology. We have set up a bio-technology park in association with Kharagpur IIT. The emphasis is on small, medium, and manufacturing industry. The chemical hub once set up will produce employment in the ancillary and downstream units as they have done at Haldia. We are also going in for clusters—foundries in Howrah for 20 | P a g e example, and also plastic manufacturing clusters and apparel manufacturing clusters. The manufacturing and IT industries would absorb vocationally trained students and science graduates. ..... Contd.
  24. 24. Page 7 and 8 SEZ and Industrialisation in India S pecial Economic Zones (SEZs) have, over the past five years, become synonymous in India with grabbing land from farmers. In March 2007, 14 people were killed and many more raped and injured by police and partythugs in Nandigram, West Bengal, for refusing to give their land for a petrochemical SEZ promoted by an company. The Indonesian uproar that followed shook the state and central governments (contributing to the eventual downfall of the former) and led to a cancellation of the project, a temporary moratorium on SEZs and a reduction maximum in allowed their size. Nandigram was the tip of the iceberg, as farmers across the country were 21 | P a g e resisting the Then there is the Singur issue. .... For the small car project the Tatas would get a concession of Rs. 18,000 per 0.1 million rupees. First, we had to persuade the Tatas to come to West Bengal with the small car project (. They were shown locations in Kharagpur and in some other places. .... The alternative was to tell the Tatas to go away to Uttarakhand. The unit once set up will create many employment opportunities in the ancillary and downstream sectors. The land that was identified for the production unit at Singur was single crop and double-crop. We calculated and found that the motor car factory at Singur would create large job opportunities and improve the quality of life there [The mathematics of compensation and the possibility of the marginalisation of the farmers not alluded]. Mandays produced will be much more. The work of setting up the boundary wall for the factory itself has created jobs for 3,000 people. By 2008, the production will take off. The Tatas will set up primary schools and health services and they have started training local people. ... It is the moral responsibility of the Government to ensure that the affected people benefit from the economic opportunities, which will be created by the motor car factory. There has been a kind of unbalanced zeal about Special Economic Zones (SEZs) in Delhi. Is the SEZ for industry or is it for real estate development? This is a crucial question. Proposals for SEZs are coming. Tamil Nadu alone has submitted proposals for 86 SEZs. In China SEZs have been set up for technology-transfer in which the people of China are very efficient. They started with six SEZs. We have started with 450 in India. The Left has sent important amendments to the SEZ Act and rules [No radical proposal for the control over the SEZ or embedding of the neoliberal capital growth is mentioned] . .... There is no need to hurry. Let the debate over SEZ come to a conclusion and then we can look at the project again. I have asked the Party to see that the SEZ debate is brought to a conclusion. We do need the chemical hub where the Indian Oil Corporation is the primary investor. The downstream units will produce textiles from polymer, and rubber from butadiene. This is needed for economic development of the area and the state. The opposition has brought hoodlums from outside of Nandigram and engaged in sheer violence. We did commit the initial error and we need to proceed with great caution. The land issue is a very sensitive issue. The unrecorded bargadars of Nandigram and Singur feel deprived and they have turned violent. They are poor people. We must carry them with us. If we fail to do that, the distinction between us and the Governments in states like Maharashtra and Gujarat will be gone [Yet the zeal of revolt of the farmers not properly addressed or seems to be understood]. The Left always looks after the interests of the poor. With agriculture as the basis, we shall build industry. This process must be well planned and the interests of the poor must be safeguarded. .....” . Contd.
  25. 25. A Special Economic Zone (SEZ) covers a broad range of more specific zone types, like Free Trade Zones (FTZ), Export Processing Zones government’s use of eminent domain to acquire and transfer (EPZ), Free Zones (FZ), Industrial Estates (IE), Free Ports, Urban Enterprise Zones and others. A single SEZ can contain multiple ‘specific’ zones within its boundaries. SEZs have been implemented their land to private companies for using a variety of institutional structures across the world ranging the development of these hyper- from fully public (government operator, government developer, liberalized enclaves. These ‘land government regulator) to ‘fully’ private (private operator, private wars’ have led to the cancellation, developer, public regulator). delay and downsizing of projects across the country, including two massive SEZs for Reliance As of 31st October 2011, 583 formal approvals have been granted for setting up SEZs, of which 381 have been notified and 143 are exporting Industries outside of Mumbai and Gurgaon, the South Korean The main objectives of the SEZ Act in India are: Orissa (a) Generation of additional economic activity. (supposed to be India’s largest (b) Promotion of exports of goods and services. (c) Promotion of investment from domestic and foreign sources. (d) Creation of employment opportunities. (e) Development of infrastructure facilities. POSCO steel SEZ in ever foreign direct investment) and all the SEZs approved in the state of Goa. In places such as Kalinganagar and Jagatsinghpur The Problem in Orissa, Raigad in Maharashtra, This process of planning and development of SEZ is under question, Nandagudi as the states in which the SEZs have been approved are facing in Karnataka, Satankulam in Tamil Nadu, local protest movements or outright resistance to land acquisition have intense protests, from the farming community, accusing the Government of forcibly snatching fertile land from them, at heavily discounted prices as against the prevailing prices in the commercial real estate industry. emerged. These conflicts and the stoppage or stalling of high-profile investments have created great concern within the state and capitalist class that farmers will be the largest obstacle to India’s emergence as a ‘world class’ economic power. O ur t ethnographic study is on two such private industries, non-SEZ one of OCL (Orissa Cement Limited) and SEZ of JSW (Jindal Steel Works). Both are regarded as cases of successful land acquisition. Our Question is whether it is so and how and why it took place with which consequences. 22 | P a g e
  26. 26. The Theories The present study of the villages of Salboni block in Paschim Medinipur district is about the process of contemporary industrialisation in India during the neoliberal, globalising era of the World. It is a time when the developing countries like India is integrating its economy with the global economy and thus embedding neoliberal market economy in the society, especially in agricultural society not enough exposed to neoliberal market and facing the dilemma of state regarding development and growth. We have considered three main theoretical strands to address the issue of industrialisation in a specific rural site of an Indian province of West Bengal. The issue is nonetheless is linked to every major economic question of India. (a) At first, the issue of development is understood in terms of principle of modernisation or structural transformation of agriculture to industry. The impetus matches with the local idea of industrialisation and the classical political economic strand of modernisation by W. Arthur Lewis, Harvard economist Hollis B. Chenery and his colleagues; (b) Next the studied phenomenon of industrialisation is further compatible with the political economic critique of neoliberalism of geographer-anthropologist David Harvey by means of his concept of “accumulation by dispossession” (ABD) (c) Finally, in order to relate the responses of the farmers to the said dispossession and resistance to the economic order of the neoliberal market the concept of “double movement” of economic historian Karl Polanyi is also examined along with the similar idea of David Harvey. Basic Model of Structural Transformation One of the best-known early theoretical models of development that focused on the structural transformation of a primarily subsistence economy was that formulated by Nobel 23 | P a g e
  27. 27. laureate W. Arthur Lewis in the mid-1950s and later modified, formalized, and extended by John Fei and Gustav Ranis. The Lewis two-sector model became the general theory of the development process in surplus-labour Third World nations during most of the 1960s and early 1970s. It still has many adherents today, especially among American development economists. In the Lewis model, the underdeveloped economy consists of two sectors: a traditional, overpopulated rural subsistence sector characterized by zero marginal la bor productivity—a situation that permits Lewis to classify this as surplus labour in the sense that it can be withdrawn from the agricultural sector without any loss of output—and a high-productivity modern urban industrial sector into which labour from the subsistence sector is gradually transferred. The primary focus of the model is on both the process of labour transfer and the growth of output and employment in the modern sector. Both labour transfer and modern-sector employment growth are brought about by output expansion in that sector. The speed with which this expansion occurs is determined by the rate of industrial investment and capital accumulation in the modern sector. Such investment is made possible by the excess of modern-sector profits over wages on the assumption that capitalists reinvest all their profits. Finally, the level of wages in the urban industrial sector is assumed to be constant and determined as a given premium over a fixed average subsistence level of wages in the traditional agricultural sector. (Lewis assumed that urban wages would have to be at least 30% higher than average rural income to induce workers to migrate from their home areas.) At the constant urban wage, the supply curve of rural labour to the modern sector is considered to be perfectly elastic. The best-known model of structural change is the one based largely on the empirical work of the late Harvard economist Hollis B. Chenery and his colleagues, who examined patterns of development for numerous developing countries during the postwar period. Their empirical studies, both cross-sectional (among countries at a given point in time) and time-series (over long periods of time), of countries at different levels of per capita income led to the identification of several characteristic features of the development process. These included the shift from agricultural to industrial production, the steady accumulation of physical and human capital, the change in consumer demands from emphasis on food and basic necessities to desires for diverse manufactured goods and services, the growth of cities 24 | P a g e
  28. 28. and urban industries as people migrate from farms and small towns, and the decline in family size and overall population growth as children lose their economic value and parents substitute child quality (education) for quantity, with population growth first increasing, then decreasing in the process of development. Proponents of this school often call for development specialists to “let the facts speak for themselves,” rather than get bogged down in the arcane of theories such as the stages of growth. This is a valuable counterbalance to empty theorizing, but it also has its own limits. The structural changes that we have described are the “average” patterns of development Chenery and colleagues observed among countries in time-series and crosssectional analyses. The major hypothesis of the structural-change model is that development is an identifiable process of growth and change whose main features are similar in all countries. However, as mentioned earlier, the model does recognize that differences can arise among countries in the pace and pattern of development, depending on their particular set of circumstances. Factors influencing the development process include a country’s resource endowment and size, its government’s policies and objectives, the availability of external capital and technology, and the international trade environment. Empirical studies on the process of structural change lead to the conclusion that the pace and pattern of development can vary according to both domestic and international factors, many of which lie beyond the control of an individual developing nation. Yet despite this variation, structural-change economists argue that one can identify certain patterns occurring in almost all countries during the development process. And these patterns, they argue, may be affected by the choice of development policies pursued by governments as well as the international trade and foreign-assistance policies of developed nations. Hence structural-change analysts are basically optimistic that the “correct” mix of economic policies will generate beneficial patterns of self-sustaining growth. Present Failure of Structural Change Development Theory First, the model implicitly assumes that the rate of labour transfer and employment creation in the modern sector is proportional to the rate of modern-sector capital accumulation. The 25 | P a g e
  29. 29. faster the rate of capital accumulation, the higher the growth rate of the modern sector and the faster the rate of new job creation. But what if capitalist profits are reinvested in more sophisticated labour-saving capital equipment rather than just duplicating the existing capital as is implicitly assumed in the Lewis model? In fact this is little left to oppose this possibility. The second questionable assumption of the Lewis model is the notion that surplus labour exists in rural areas while there is full employment in the urban areas. Most contemporary research indicates that there is little general surplus labour in rural locations. True, there are both seasonal and geographic exceptions to this rule (e.g., parts of China and the Asian subcontinent, some Carribean islands, and isolated regions of Latin America where land ownership is very unequal), but by and large, development economists today agree that Lewis’s assumption of rural surplus labour is generally not valid. The third unreal assumption is the notion of a competitive modern-sector labour market that guarantees the continued existence of constant real urban wages up to the point where the supply of rural surplus labour is exhausted. Prior to the 1980s, a striking feature of urban labour markets and wage determination in almost all developing countries was the tendency for these wages to rise substantially over time, both in absolute terms and relative to average rural incomes, even in the presence of rising levels of open modern-sector unemployment and low or zero marginal productivity in agriculture. Institutional factors such as union bargaining power, civil service wage scales, and multinational corporations’ hiring practices tend to negate competitive forces in LDC modern-sector labour markets. We conclude, therefore, that when one takes into account the laboursaving bias of most modern technological transfer, the existence of substantial capital flight, the widespread nonexistence of rural surplus labour, the growing prevalence of urban surplus labour, and the tendency for modern-sector wages to rise rapidly even where substantial open unemployment exists, the Lewis two-sector model—though extremely valuable as an early conceptual portrayal of the development process of sectoral interaction and structural change—requires considerable modification in assumptions and analysis to fit the reality of contemporary developing nations. 26 | P a g e
  30. 30. Turning to Neoliberalism and Indian Practices of Development In the absence of real practice of development by structural dual-sector transformation we first focus on what happened in India in the name of development practices. It is commonly accepted that India has since the 1980s pursued a pro-business growth strategy (Kohli, 2009) and a piecemeal process of liberalisation which, however ‘half-hearted’ at first (Harriss, 1987), entailed the gradual dismantling of the Nehru–Mahalanobis strategy of development that had marked the first few decades of post-independence Indian economic growth. The Nehru–Mahalanobis development model, in many respects rooted in the nationalist struggle for independence, aimed inter alia at creating self-sufficiency and an economy free from external and metropolitan domination, and in this venture planning became the handmaiden of government. The Indian state actively intervened in the planning framework by setting up a planning commission that determined national development interests, ostensibly in relatively splendid isolation from the partisan squabbles and conflicts of politics (Chatterjee, 1993: 202). The state also assumed a central role in the supply side of the economy by actively pursuing a strategy of rapid import-substitution industrialisation that focused on self-sufficiency and the building up of state-owned industries producing capital goods; and by passing laws such as the Industries (Development and Regulation) Act in 1951 which prohibited the setting up of new units, or the substantial expansion of existing ones, without a license from the state1. In crucial spheres, the state occupied the commanding heights of the Indian economy. While this development pattern was executed with full force only between 1956 and 1965 it can be considered to have lasted in its broader dimensions, at times in intensified form and at others in attenuated form, until 1991 (Nayar, 2007: 162). In retrospect the result of the Nehruvian model was a mixed economy with a mixed record (Ghosh, 1999: 166) that included both successes and failures. However, as the state in India oftentimes took on the form of a regulatory state and not a developmental state (Corbridge and Harriss, 2000: 103), the state-led model came under increasing pressure in the 1980s. On the one hand popular movements against state-led development induced displacement – most notably the Narmada Bachao Andolan’s struggle against the building 1 Other important acts introduced to the same effect were the Monopoly and Restrictive Trade Practices Act, and the Foreign Exchange Regulation Act. 27 | P a g e
  31. 31. of large dams in North India – heralded the coming of a new zeitgeist that brought an increased awareness about environmental and human rights issues to bear on development related questions (Aandahl, 2009); while on the other neo-liberal critics such as Jagdish Bhagwati (in Corbridge and Harriss, 2000: 102) began arguing that Indian planning as we knew it was bound to promote an economic system that was not only over-licensed and bureaucratised, but also inefficient and corrupt. As is well known, India’s fiscal crisis in 1991 marked an important point of transition, as the liberalisation of the Indian economy gathered speed in the wake of the implementation of a package of structural and economic reforms, which meant that the Indian state had to redefine its role in the development process.2 Post-1991 the Indian state adopted a new and more pro-business model of development (Kohli, 2009) and dismantled much of its industrial licensing system. It allowed private sector companies to trade in industries that had once been arrogated to state-owned enterprises, and offered tax concessions, and there is little doubt that the broad thrust of the reforms has been to increase the powers of private capital. Moreover, there is now a virtual consensus among all major political parties about the priorities of rapid economic growth led by private investment, both domestic and foreign (Chatterjee, 2008: 57). As a corollary, more and more activities have been brought under the purview of ‘development’, including the acquisition and allocation of land by governments to profitmaking private companies (Reddy and Reddy, 2007: 3235) and the setting up of special economic zones. Proponents of the transition to a new ‘India model’ ascribe its apparent economic success to the unshackling of the Indian people from the confines of a mixed economy, one that combined the worst features of capitalism and socialism (Das, 2006). They point to India’s impressive rates of economic growth post-1991, which made India one of the world’s best performing economies in recent years. Critics, on the other hand, point out that while it cannot be denied that significant economic growth has taken place, it has done so to the detriment of the poor. The policy of prioritising rapid growth led by private capital, critics argue, involves an illicit collusion between big capital and the state, where the latter facilitates the penetration of the former by dispossessing and displacing subaltern groups. To such critics – some of whom became active in the Singur movement – the land acquisition 2 There exists a vast body of literature debating whether the 1991 economic reforms proceeded gradually or erratically; and whether they were a necessary and inevitable step or implemented by stealth by or on behalf of social elites. For an overview, see Corbridge and Harriss (2000: 143–172). 28 | P a g e
  32. 32. in Singur was thus symptomatic of the new forms of accumulation by dispossession inherent in neoliberal forms of development (see e.g. Da Costa, 2007), carried out through brute state power and oppression. Accordingly, to some the Singur protests became symbolic of a new wave of emergent grassroots resistance to neo-liberal development and the general ills of global capitalism. Introducing Neoliberalism “Neoliberalism” is a revival of “liberalism”. This definition suggests that liberalism, as a political ideology, has been absent from political discussions and policy-making for a period of time, only to emerge in more recent times in a reincarnated form. It suggests, in other words, that liberalism has undergone a process of initial growth, intermediary decline, and finally a recent rejuvenation. Alternatively, neoliberalism might be perceived of as a distinct ideology, descending from, but not identical to liberalism “proper”. Under this interpretation, neoliberalism would share some historical roots and some of the basic vocabulary with liberalism in general. Liberalism The concept of neoliberalism suggests a particular account of the development of liberal thought. It suggests that liberalism was at one point in time an influential political ideology, but that it at some point lost some of its significance, only to revive itself in more recent times in a new form. As it turns out, however, liberalism has dominated normative political thought as well as practical politics in the West for the past sixty years, up to the point in which it has become a shared inheritance among political theorists, professional politicians, and nearly all significant political movements in its native countries. This is attested by the fact that hardly anyone speaks out against freedom or democracy anymore, which are the primary values of liberalism. Neoliberalism could therefore scarcely be understood as the recovery of a lost tradition of liberal, political thought. It should, in our view, instead be seen as an ideology different from, and often opposed to, what is more commonly described as “liberalism”. 29 | P a g e
  33. 33. The word “liberal” took on a specifically political meaning with the establishment of liberal parliamentary caucuses in Sweden and Spain, and later on throughout Europe, in the first decades of the nineteenth century (Gray 1995). When these embryonic political parties coined the term “liberal”, they wanted to signal their favourable assessment of the emerging democratic systems in Britain and especially the United States, as opposed to their conservative opponents, who wanted to return to pre-revolutionary forms of government (cf. Sartori 1987:367f). Partly because of its relatively long history, the term “liberalism” has become a rather nebulous concept, and usage has tended vary quite considerably over time, and in accordance with varying regional experiences. The opening sentences of one entry in a reference book should suffice to describe the lexicographer’s headache: “Anyone trying to give a brief account of liberalism is immediately faced with an embarrassing question: are we dealing with liberalism or liberalisms? It is easy to list famous liberals; it is harder to say what they have in common. John Locke, Adam Smith, Montesquieu, Thomas Jefferson, John Stuart Mill, Lord Acton, T. H. Green, John Dewey and contemporaries such as Isaiah Berlin and John Rawls are certainly liberals – but they do not agree about the boundaries of toleration, the legitimacy of the welfare state, and the virtues of democracy, to take three rather central political issues” (Ryan 1993:291) One could more easily identify, however, some of the common varieties of liberalism and liberal thought. One frequently encountered distinction goes between “classical” and “modern” types of liberalism (Ryan 1993:293-296). Classical liberalism is, under Ryan’s understanding, associated with earlier liberals such as the already mentioned John Locke and Adam Smith. In addition, he names Alexis de Tocqueville from the nineteenth century, and Friedrich von Hayek from the twentieth, as belonging to the tradition of classical liberalism. Classical liberalism is often associated with the belief that the state ought to be minimal, which means that practically everything except armed forces, law enforcement and other “non-excludable goods” ought to be left to the free dealings of its citizens, and the organisations they freely choose to establish and take part in. This kind of state is sometimes described as a “night-watchman state”, as the sole purpose of the minimal state is to uphold the most fundamental aspects of public order. Some of these authors, especially John Locke ([1689/90] 1823), even consider the state to be a freely established association between 30 | P a g e
  34. 34. individuals, where its members have a justified cause for rebellion if the state seizes more power than what has been originally ceded to it by its citizens. Classical liberalism has thus much common ground with what we described above as “economic liberalism”. And it is often the case that classical liberals are, with their tendency to favour laissez-faire economic policies, portrayed as leading proponents of “neoliberalism”. Modern liberalism is, on the other hand, characterised by a greater willingness to let the state become an active participant in the economy. This has often issued in a pronounced tendency to regulate the marketplace, and to have the state supply essential goods and services to everyone. Modern liberalism is therefore, for all intents and purposes, a profound revision of liberalism, especially of the economic policies traditionally associated with it. Whereas “classical” or “economic” liberals favour laissez-faire (let go or free market) economic policies because it is thought that they lead to more freedom and real democracy, modern liberals tend to claim that this analysis is inadequate and misleading, and that the state must play a significant role in the economy, if the most basic liberal goals and purposes are to be made into reality. Such “modern” views could be associated with nineteenthcentury theorists such as Benjamin Constant and John Stuart Mill. More recently, John Dewey, William Beveridge, and John Rawls have articulated similar ideas. Modern liberalism could generally be thought of as being situated politically to the left of classical liberalism, because of its willingness to employ the state as an instrument to redistribute wealth and power – in order to create a society deemed to be more decent or equitable (cf. Beveridge 1944; 1945; Rawls 1993). The Critical Reader is in many ways a typical representative of a recent wave of “critical literature” whose main goal it is to denounce a powerful tendency which goes under the name of “neoliberalism” (cf. e.g. Blomgren 1997; Bourdieu 1998; 1998a; 2001; Giddens 1998; Chomsky 1999; Campbell and Pedersen 2001; Touraine 2001; Marsdal and Wold 2004; Rapley 2004; Harvey 2005; Hagen 2006; Plehwe et al. 2006). Several of these works accord neoliberalism an overwhelming significance, while they at the same time seem quite happy to leave the concept of “neoliberalism” completely undefined, claiming, along with Saad-Filho and Johnston, that it defies definition. One might therefore easily begin to suspect that the concept has become, in some quarters at least, a generic term of deprecation describing almost any economic and political development deemed to be undesirable. 31 | P a g e
  35. 35. Neoliberalism: A Conceptual History The first book-length work we have been able to discover, employing the term “neoliberalism” in its title, is Jacques Cros’ doctoral thesis, (Cros 1950). To Cros, neoliberalism is the political ideology which resulted from a few efforts at reinvigorating classical liberalism in the period immediately before and during World War II, by political theorists such as Wilhelm Röpke (1944; 1945) and Friedrich von Hayek (1944; Hayek et al. 1935). Cros” main argument is, basically, that these “neoliberals” have sought to redefine liberalism by reverting to a more right-wing or laissez-faire stance on economic policy issues, compared to the modern, egalitarian liberalism of Beveridge and Keynes. Cros generally applaud these “neoliberals” for speaking out against totalitarianism at a time when only few people did so, especially among intellectuals. He remains sceptical, however, to their central thesis, common to most classical liberals, that individual liberty depends on there being a free-market economy, where the state has voluntarily given up its ability to control the economy for the good of society as a whole, or the interests of its own citizens. Cros and Nawroth’s concept of neoliberalism was slowly and gradually exported to the rest of the world, where it during the 1990”s gained the prevalence it now has. Under ver Eecke”s understanding, neoliberalism is not a description of any kind of recent contributions to liberal theory, but rather a concept reserved for a particular kind of liberalism, which is marked by a radical commitment to laissez-faire economic policies. Among the proponents of such policies one finds some of the more uncompromising classical liberals such as Mises and Hayek, monetarists and other economists bent on establishing and preserving what they perceive of as “free markets” such as Friedman, and finally also those libertarians whose much-repeated insistence on individual liberty issues in a demand for a minimal or practically non-existent state, like Nozick and Rothbard. Neoliberalism Defined In light of the body of literature partially presented above, as well as the other parts of this present study, we therefore propose a definition which directly builds on the more moderate voices of the “critical literature”, primarily Blomgren and Harvey. We believe, however, that 32 | P a g e
  36. 36. our proposed definition is more to the point, and better able to function within the framework of a more disinterested analysis of the phenomenon of neoliberalism, and the conditions for politics in the contemporary world: Neoliberalism is, as we see it, a loosely demarcated set of political beliefs which most prominently and prototypically include the conviction that the only legitimate purpose of the state is to safeguard individual, especially commercial, liberty, as well as strong private property rights (cf. especially Mises 1962; Nozick 1974; Hayek 1979). This conviction usually issues, in turn, in a belief that the state ought to be minimal or at least drastically reduced in strength and size, and that any transgression by the state beyond its sole legitimate purpose is unacceptable (ibid.). These beliefs could apply to the international level as well, where a system of free markets and free trade ought to be implemented as well; the only acceptable reason for regulating international trade is to safeguard the same kind of commercial liberty and the same kinds of strong property rights which ought to be realised on a national level (Norberg 2001; Friedman 2006). Neoliberalism generally also includes the belief that freely adopted market mechanisms is the optimal way of organising all exchanges of goods and services (Friedman 1962; 1980; Norberg 2001). Free markets and free trade will, it is believed, set free the creative potential and the entrepreneurial spirit which is built into the spontaneous order of any human society, and thereby lead to more individual liberty and well-being, and a more efficient allocation of resources (Hayek 1973; Rothbard [1962/1970] 2004). Neoliberalism could also include a perspective on moral virtue: the good and virtuous person is one who is able to access the relevant markets and function as a competent actor in these markets. He or she is willing to accept the risks associated with participating in free markets, and to adapt to rapid changes arising from such participation (Friedman 1980). Individuals are also seen as being solely responsible for the consequences of the choices and decisions they freely make: instances of inequality and glaring social injustice are morally acceptable, at least to the degree in which they could be seen as the result of freely made decisions (Nozick 1974; Hayek 1976). If a person demands that the state should regulate the market or make reparations to the unfortunate who has been caught at the losing end of a freely initiated market transaction, this is viewed as an indication that the person in question is morally depraved and underdeveloped, and scarcely different from a 33 | P a g e
  37. 37. proponent of a totalitarian state (Mises 1962). Thus understood and defined, neoliberalism becomes a loose set of ideas of how the relationship between the state and its external environment ought to be organised, and not a complete political philosophy or ideology (Blomgren 1997; Malnes 1998). In fact, it is not understood as a theory about how political processes ought to be organised at all. Neoliberalism is for instance silent on the issue of whether or not there ought to be democracy and free exchanges of political ideas. This means, as Harvey (2005) indicates, that policies inspired by neoliberalism could be implemented under the auspices of autocrats as well as within liberal democracies. In fact, neoliberals merely claim, in effect, that as much as possible ought to be left to the market or other processes which individuals freely choose to take part in, and consequently that as little as possible ought to be subjected to genuinely political processes. Proponents of neoliberalism are therefore often in the “critical literature” portrayed as sceptics of democracy: if the democratic process slows down neoliberal reforms, or threatens individual and commercial liberty, which it sometimes does, then democracy ought to be sidestepped and replaced by the rule of experts or legal instruments designed for that purpose. The practical implementation of neoliberal policies will, therefore, lead to a relocation of power from political to economic processes, from the state to markets and individuals, and finally from the legislature and executives authorities to the judiciary (cf. Østerud et al. 2003; Trollstøl and Stensrud 2005; Tranøy 2006). Why the Neoliberal Turn? The restructuring of state forms and of international relations after the Second World War was designed to prevent a return to the catastrophic conditions that had so threatened the capitalist order in the great slump of the 1930s. It was also supposed to prevent the reemergence of inter-state geopolitical rivalries that had led to the war. To ensure domestic peace and tranquillity, some sort of class compromise between capital and labour had to be constructed. The thinking at the time is perhaps best represented by an influential text by two eminent social scientists, Robert Dahl and Charles Lindblom, published in 1953. Both 34 | P a g e
  38. 38. capitalism and communism in their raw forms had failed, they argued. The only way ahead was to construct the right blend of state, market, and democratic institutions to guarantee peace, inclusion, well-being, and stability. Internationally, a new world order was constructed through the Bretton Woods agreements, and various institutions, such as the United Nations, the World Bank, the IMF, and the Bank of International Settlements in Basle, were set up to help stabilize international relations. Free trade in goods was encouraged under a system of fixed exchange rates anchored by the US dollar’s convertibility into gold at a fixed price. Fixed exchange rates were incompatible with free flows of capital that had to be controlled, but the US had to allow the free flow of the dollar beyond its borders if the dollar was to function as the global reserve currency. This system existed under the umbrella protection of US military power. Only the Soviet Union and the Cold War placed limits on its global reach. A variety of social democratic, Christian democratic and dirigiste (directed by a central authority) states emerged in Europe after the Second World War. The US itself turned towards a liberal democratic state form, and Japan, under the close supervision of the US, built a nominally democratic but in practice highly bureaucratic state apparatus empowered to oversee the reconstruction of that country. What all of these various state forms had in common was an acceptance that the state should focus on full employment, economic growth, and the welfare of its citizens, and that state power should be freely deployed, alongside of or, if necessary, intervening in or even substituting for market processes to achieve these ends. Fiscal and monetary policies usually dubbed ‘Keynesian’ were widely deployed to dampen business cycles and to ensure reasonably full employment. A ‘class compromise’ between capital and labour was generally advocated as the key guarantor of domestic peace and tranquillity. States actively intervened in industrial policy and moved to set standards for the social wage by constructing a variety of welfare systems (health care, education, and the like). This form of political-economic organization is now usually referred to as ‘embedded liberalism’ to signal how market processes and entrepreneurial and corporate activities were surrounded by a web of social and political constraints and a regulatory environment that sometimes restrained but in other instances led the way in economic and industrial strategy. State-led planning and in some instances state ownership of key sectors (coal, steel, automobiles) were not uncommon (for example in 35 | P a g e
  39. 39. Britain, France, and Italy). The neoliberal project is to disembed capital from these constraints. Embedded liberalism delivered high rates of economic growth in the advanced capitalist countries during the 1950s and 1960s. In part this depended on the largesse of the US in being prepared to run deficits with the rest of the world and to absorb any excess product within its borders. This system conferred benefits such as expanding export markets (most obviously for Japan but also unevenly across South America and to some other countries of South-East Asia), but attempts to export ‘development’ to much of the rest of the world largely stalled. For much of the Third World, particularly Africa, embedded liberalism remained a pipe dream. The subsequent drive towards neoliberalization after 1980 entailed little material change in their impoverished condition. In the advanced capitalist countries, redistributive politics (including some degree of political integration of working-class trade union power and support for collective bargaining), controls over the free mobility of capital (some degree of financial repression through capital controls in particular), expanded public expenditures and welfare state-building, active state interventions in the economy, and some degree of planning of development went hand in hand with relatively high rates of growth. The business cycle was successfully controlled through the application of Keynesian fiscal and monetary policies. A social and moral economy (sometimes supported by a strong sense of national identity) was fostered through the activities of an interventionist state. The state in effect became a force field that internalized class relations. Working-class institutions such as labour unions and political parties of the left had a very real influence within the state apparatus. By the end of the 1960s embedded liberalism began to break down, both internationally and within domestic economies. Signs of a serious crisis of capital accumulation were everywhere apparent. Unemployment and inflation were both surging everywhere, ushering in a global phase of ‘stagflation’ that lasted throughout much of the 1970s. Fiscal crises of various states (Britain, for example, had to be bailed out by the IMF in 1975–6) resulted as tax revenues plunged and social expenditures soared. Keynesian policies were no longer working. Even before the Arab-Israeli War and the OPEC oil embargo of 1973, the Bretton Woods system of fixed exchange rates backed by gold reserves had fallen into disarray. The porosity of state boundaries with respect to capital flows put stress on the 36 | P a g e
  40. 40. system of fixed exchange rates. US dollars had flooded the world and escaped US controls by being deposited in European banks. Fixed exchange rates were therefore abandoned in 1971. Gold could no longer function as the metallic base of international money; exchange rates were allowed to float, and attempts to control the float were soon abandoned. The embedded liberalism that had delivered high rates of growth to at least the advanced capitalist countries after 1945 was clearly exhausted and was no longer working. Some alternative was called for if the crisis was to be overcome. One answer was to deepen state control and regulation of the economy through corporatist strategies (including, if necessary, curbing the aspirations of labour and popular movements through austerity measures, incomes policies, and even wage and price controls). This answer was advanced by socialist and communist parties in Europe, with hopes pinned on innovative experiments in governance in places such as communistcontrolled ‘Red Bologna’ in Italy, on the revolutionary transformation of Portugal in the wake of the collapse of fascism, on the turn towards a more open market socialism and ideas of ‘Eurocommunism’, particularly in Italy (under the leadership of Berlinguer) and in Spain (under the influence of Carrillo), or on the expansion of the strong social democratic welfare state tradition in Scandinavia. The left assembled considerable popular power behind such programmes, coming close to power in Italy and actually acquiring state power in Portugal, France, Spain, and Britain, while retaining power in Scandinavia. Even in the United States, a Congress controlled by the Democratic Party legislated a huge wave of regulatory reform in the early 1970s (signed into law by Richard Nixon, a Republican president, who in the process even went so far as to remark that ‘we are all Keynesians now’), governing everything from environmental protection to occupational safety and health, civil rights, and consumer protection. But the left failed to go much beyond traditional social democratic and corporatist solutions and these had by the mid-1970s proven inconsistent with the requirements of capital accumulation. The effect was to polarize debate between those ranged behind social democracy and central planning on the one hand (who, when in power, as in the case of the British Labour Party, often ended up trying to curb, usually for pragmatic reasons, the aspirations of their own constituencies), and the interests of all those concerned with liberating corporate and business power and re-establishing market freedoms on the other. By the mid-1970s, the interests of the latter group came to the fore. 37 | P a g e

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